Satyrus ferula (Fabricius, 1793)

Satyrus ferula: Male (Provence, France) [S] Satyrus ferula: Male (Provence, France) [S] Satyrus ferula: Female upper side [N] Satyrus ferula: Female-lower side [M] Satyrus ferula: Ovae (Ticino, late August 2008). The eggs are sometimes observed in higher numbers in the Festuca tussocks on sunny rocks in open forests. [M] Satyrus ferula: Half-grown larva (Ticino, Switzerland) [M] Satyrus ferula: Larva [M] Satyrus ferula: Larva (Provence, France) [S] Satyrus ferula: Larva (Valais, Leuk) [S] Satyrus ferula: Larva (Valais, Switzerland) [S] Satyrus ferula: Larva (Valais, Switzerland) [N] Satyrus ferula: Pupa [S] Satyrus ferula: Larval habitat in Valais near Stalden: I found a half-grown larva in the Festuca tussock next to the Primula. April 2008 [N] Satyrus ferula: Larval habitat near Leuk (Valais, April 2008) [N] Satyrus ferula: Habitat near Leuk (Valais, Switzerland), April 2008 [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on grasses such as Festuca ovina agg., Festuca vallesiaca and Bromus erectus.

Satyrus ferula colonizes grove rich, often rocky grasslands, just such clearings in dry forests etc. Sometimes the habitats are very small, including only a few square meters of rock with Festuca-tufts in the open forest, as often in Ticino. In the Alps, Satyrus ferula rises to about 2000m above sea level (larval observatiopns below the Täschalpe in Valais).

Life cycle:
The caterpillar hibernates quite small and is usually mature in June. They are often found in the basal Festuca-tufts when you apart them with your hands. The adults fly from July to early September and lay their eggs at the grass leaves in the tufts (both on dry and living leaves).

Endangerment factors:
In places Satyrus ferula is threatened by complete overgrowth of habitats (bush encroachment, afforestation) or cultivation (vineyards!) and pesticides especially in the north of its distribution (Valais, Ticino). Overall, Satyrus ferula is but especially in the south are not directly threatened.

Satyrus ferula occurs in Morocco. Interestingly, it is absent in the Iberian Peninsula largely (only in the north, especially Pyrenees). Next it occurs in the south of France, in the Southern Alps, rarely in central and Southern Italy, as well as on the western and southern Balkans. Via Turkey, the Middle East and southern Russia China is reached to the Far East.

Satyrus actaea